Irish Lifeboats

The definitive guide to the Irish lifeboat service

Latest News

The latest news releases from the RNLI and CRBI 

Our goal is to bring you accurate and up-to-date news from the RNLI and CRBI. In addition, the website aims to inform you of events, functions etc. 

Our aim at is simple: To spread the word of the great work done by the RNLI and CRBI around the Irish Coastline. 

Get in touch with us if you have any queries or have something that you would like us to cover.

E-mail us at [email protected]


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Man rescued by Galway RNLI after dinghy capsizes

Posted on February 19, 2018 at 1:25 AM

Galway RNLI rescued a man who got into difficulty after his dinghy capsized on Galway Bay on Sunday afternoon (18 February).

Photo: Galway RNLI

The incident happened off Hare Island shortly before 1pm. A member of the public saw the man was unable to right the 15 foot vessel and notified the Irish Coastguard who requested the assistance of the RNLI lifeboat.

Galway Lifeboat launched from Galway Docks at 1.15pm and located the man as he was swimming towards the shore. He was cold and shook and the Lifeboat crew brought him to the station and administered first aid. He recovered a short time later and did not need to be hospitalizedThe Lifeboat retrieved the dinghy and towed it safely back to Galway Docks, ending the rescue operation at 2.15pm.

The volunteer Lifeboat crew on this callout were Dave Oliver, John O’Sullivan, Ros Forde and Kenneth Kitterick.

Deputy Launch Authority Barry Heskin advises members of the public to dress adequately for the weather conditions and to always notifya family member or friends of expected time of arrival.

Hollywood comes to Clogherhead as locals act to fund new lifeboat

Posted on February 16, 2018 at 8:40 AM

Members of Clogherhead RNLI have been overwhelmed with the local support for ‘The Night at the Oskars’, a major fundraising event being staged to raise funds for the station’s new Shannon class lifeboat, which is due to arrive in 2019.

A night at the Oskars. Photo: RNLI/Clogherhead

The event which is being held on Saturday 3 March at the TLT in Drogheda will see local people star in seven short films recreating some of the most well-known and successful blockbusters over the last few years.

An initial casting call issued back in January saw 65 people successfully audition and receive parts in mini film versions of The Field, The Snapper, The Hangover, Forrest Gump, Shawshank Redemption and Bridesmaids. Each of the local actors has a starting role in the short films that will be screened in front of a packed auditorium in Drogheda. The screening will end with a short awards ceremony, honouring what a panel of carefully selected judges, will deem as the best performances in a range of categories.

The red-carpet event is formal or black-tie dress and tickets are priced at €30. The high quality production is being produced by Kevin Rowe Events who do these across the country and run as a ‘Fundraiser In Aid of Clogherhead RNLI’.

Speaking about the event, Clogherhead RNLI Coxswain Tomás Whelehan said, ‘We have been completely overwhelmed by the support for our lifeboat appeal. This major event to raise funds for the new lifeboat is a great way to bring the local community onboard and we are thrilled so many people have come forward to play a part in it. Our new Shannon class lifeboat is a huge investment by the RNLI on the east coast and we are honoured that so many people living here want to help fund it.’

‘Holding an event where our friends and neighbours can get involved and see themselves on the silver screen is a great way for the community to help us raise funds for our new lifeboat. We can’t wait to see everyone on screen and there will of course be a few familiar lifeboat faces taking part. We want to thank the organisers for holding this event for us and for their support for the appeal.’

Last June Clogherhead RNLI launched a €150,000 fundraising appeal at the Drogheada Maritime Festival. The total cost of the new Shannon Lifeboat will be in the region of €2.5 million and the majority of the funding will be provided through an Irish legacy. Clogherhead RNLI and affiliated branches in Meath and Monahan are making a commitment to raise €150,000 towards the cost of the project through a community appeal.

Tickets can be obtained at the Clogherhead lifeboat station each Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2pm until March 3rd or through phoning Tomas on 086 809 4690.

PJ Gallagher and friends to hold special comedy night in Dun Laoghaire theatre

Posted on February 16, 2018 at 8:20 AM

Well known comedian, radio host and star of the small screen, PJ Gallagher, is to hold a night of fun and laughter with some of Ireland’s top comedians to raise funds for the RNLI.

Comedian PJ Gallagher with Dun Laoghaire RNLI. Photo: RNLI/Niamh Stephenson

The one-off event is being staged at Dun Laoghaire’s Pavilion Theatre on Sunday 4 March where PJ will be joined by friends, Deirdre O’Kane, Eric Lalor, Joanne McNally and more. The funds raised on the night will go to help the charity with their work in saving lives at sea and prevention.

PJ became aware of the work of the RNLI in Dun Laoghaire when he was passing the station and Lifeboat Mechanic Kieran O’Connell invited him in to look around. The pair struck up a friendship and PJ has been a regular visitor at the station since then. When he heard about he work of the RNLI he made up his mind to do an event to raise funds.

Speaking about his decision to hold the comedy night and to ask some of his famous friends to support it, PJ said, ‘ I live near the lifeboat station and was aware of the work of the RNLI but it was only when I met Colley (Kieran) that I really learned what it was all about. These men and women are volunteers and they leave their jobs and lives to come and help those in trouble at sea.’

‘We have a big beautiful lifeboat on view in Dun Laoghaire harbour but when it’s gone, sometimes in the middle of the night, that’s when they are doing their amazing work. I asked some friends if they’d help with a fundraiser and they jumped at the chance. In fairness you never know when this lot might need rescuing.’

Dun Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat mechanic and long-serving crewmember Kieran O’Connell (Colley) added, ‘ We are really thrilled that PJ and his friends are holding this night for us. We get a lot of visitors into the station and they are always delighted to hear about the work we do and you hope it stays with them but PJ has stayed in contact and become a firm friend of the station. I just hope he knows what he is letting himself in for as most of the crew will be attending and if their pagers go off there could be a lot of people running for the doors suddenly. I hope they won’t take it personally.’

The gig is selling fast with only a small number of tickets remaining. Tickets are priced at €24 and are available from the box office directly or Tel: 01 231 2929.

Ballycotton RNLI needs new fundraising volunteers and lifeboat crew

Posted on February 7, 2018 at 12:20 PM

Ballycotton RNLI is looking for new volunteer fundraisers and lifeboat crew to join its community lifesaving team in East County Cork.

Photo: RNLI/Nigel Millard

The station’s volunteers make an invaluable contribution to the RNLI, be it through crewing the station’s all-weather lifeboat, fundraising, or helping the station to share important safety messages.

Ballycotton RNLI is now calling on new volunteers to come forward and find out how they can get involved and help to continue to save lives. The station will be hosting an open evening at the station in Ballycotton at 7.30pm on Monday 19 February, for all interested candidates to learn more.

Nineteen-year-old Sile Scanlon is one volunteer who joined the volunteer lifeboat crew after she herself was rescued. Sile explained: ‘A few years ago I was kayaking just off Ballycotton with three friends when the weather deteriorated and we got into difficulty. There was a big swell as a result and we were afraid that are our kayaks might capsize. We raised the alarm and made our way to the lighthouse where Ballycotton RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat came to our assistance.’

Sile is now two years on the lifeboat crew and loves being a volunteer: ‘Growing up in Ballycotton I have always had a love for the sea and with my family so involved, the RNLI has always been close to my heart. I always wanted to join the crew but when I was rescued myself, I experienced first-hand the value of the charity’s community lifesaving work. Whether a volunteer is a seagoing crew member or is on the shore helping to prepare the lifeboat for launch or fundraising to make a rescue possible, their contribution really does makes a difference. I find it is also very satisfying to give back to your community and to be part of a great team.’

Mary Creedon, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager is calling on any volunteers who may be interested to come along to the station on Monday, 19 February, to find out more: ‘We are looking for anyone who is willing to offer some of their free time to join what I believe to be, one of the most exhilarating and rewarding voluntary services that is out there. Every volunteer receives first class training from the RNLI and learns new skills which can benefit them in many walks of life. Lifeboat crew members need to have a reasonable level of fitness, have good eyesight and not be colour blind.

‘We are looking for a range of community lifesaving volunteers - shore crew play an essential role in the launch and recovery of the lifeboat when it goes on service and we need volunteers to help us fundraise and share our safety messages.’

Anyone who feels they have the time and commitment to volunteer for the charity which is on call 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, is asked to email [email protected]

Newcastle RNLI rescue six fishermen in 12 hour call out

Posted on February 6, 2018 at 12:20 PM

Newcastle RNLI rescued six fishermen yesterday afternoon (Monday 5 February) in a call out that lasted 12 hours.

Newcastle All-weather lifeboat. Photo: RNLI

At 3.10pm, the volunteer crew members at Newcastle RNLI were alerted by their pagers that Belfast Coastguard had requested the lifeboat to go to the assistance of a fishing vessel 15 miles south east of Newcastle harbour. The boat had broken down and required assistance.

The lifeboat crew that included a teacher, a builder, an outdoor instructor and a local business man all dropped what they were doing and made their way to the lifeboat station where they were chosen to go to sea and assist the stricken fishing boat.

Weather conditions at the time were calm but cold with excellent visibility. The all-weather Mersey class lifeboat Eleanor and Bryant Girling was launched at 3.20pm and reached the casualty vessel at 4.20pm.

Communications were made with the skipper and it was agreed that the best option was for the lifeboat to tow the boat back to the port of Kilkeel. While the tow got underway at a slow speed of four knots and with 15 miles to go, the estimated time of arrival in Kilkeel was approximately 8.30pm. However, due to size of the vessel and the tide ebbing, the lifeboat crew were not able to enter the harbour until 1am.

At 12.30am it was decided to launch Kilkeel RNLI’s inshore lifeboat to assist with the manoeuvring of the fishing vessel into the tight harbour entrance. Shortly after 1.20am the vessel was alongside the quay and handed over to Kilkeel Coastguard rescue team.

Speaking following the call out, Nathan Leneghan, Newcastle RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘This was the first call out of the year for Newcastle RNLI and we were delighted to help bring the fishing crew to safety. This was a long and challenging call out due to the tide and size of the boat but we worked with the conditions and with the support of colleagues from Kilkeel RNLI were able to bring the boat to safety. We would remind anyone taking to sea to always respect the water. Check weather and tide times before you leave and always let someone ashore know when you are leaving and when you are due back. Always wear a lifejacket and always carry a means of calling or signalling for help should you get into difficulty.’

New 65,000 Euro community funded lifeboat goes on service at Fethard RNLI

Posted on February 4, 2018 at 7:20 PM

A new inshore D class lifeboat has gone on service at Fethard RNLI. The lifeboat which arrived at the Fethard lifeboat station on THursday (1 February), replaces Tradewinds, which has been used to rescue people off the Hook peninsula since 2007.

D-819 Initial Launch. Photo: RNLI/Damien McGarry

The arrival of the lifeboat to be named Naomh Dubhán, comes three years after the station launched a special appeal to raise €65,000 to fund a new lifeboat which would replace Tradewinds, which was nearing her end of service.

Following a successful fundraising drive supported by the people of Fethard, the Hook peninsula, Duncannon, Ballyhack and the New Ross area, the funds were raised in 12 months, bringing today’s milestone to fruition.

The volunteer lifeboat crew had their last exercise on their retiring lifeboat Wednesday night (31 January) before commencing a period of familiarisation training with their new lifeboat yesterday afternoon (1 February).

During her time on service in Fethard, Tradewinds, which was generously funded by Bríd Mulhern, a donor from Dunmore, launched 288 times and rescued 149 people.

The honour of naming a new lifeboat is one given to those who donate it and on this occasion, Fethard RNLI put a call out to the people of the Hook peninsula who generously raised the funds, to come up with a fitting name.

Naomh Dubhán was the popular choice with numerous suggestions from people wanting to name the lifeboat after St. Dubhán who came to the Hook Peninsula from Wales in 452 A.D and established a monastery.

It is believed that St. Dubhán lit the first warning beacon for ships on the Hook Peninsula shortly after his arrival. This beacon was maintained by monks for 700 years until Hook lighthouse was built.

Speaking following the arrival of the new lifeboat, Oonagh Hearne Messette, Chair of Fethard RNLI Fundraising, said: ‘We are extremely grateful to the community of Fethard and beyond for funding our new lifeboat and we are delighted that their hard work has been rewarded by Naomh Dubhán’s arrival at the station today. Our crew and fundraisers will know that every time the lifeboat launches or that a life is saved or a person is rescued, it was made possible with thanks to the efforts of our community.’

First introduced into the RNLI fleet in 1963, the design of the inflatable D class lifeboat continues to evolve to meet changes in demand and technology.

It is highly manoeuvrable and usually operates closer to shore than all-weather lifeboats. The D Class comes into her own for searches and rescues in the surf, shallow water and confined locations - often close to cliffs, among rocks and even inside caves.

The D class lifeboat in Fethard is launched from a trolley, with the help of a launch and recovery Landrover.

With the arrival of a new lifeboat, Fethard RNLI is also taking the opportunity to recruit new volunteers for a variety of roles so that it can successfully continue to provide a search and rescue service in County Wexford.


Hugh Burke, Fethard RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager is calling on any volunteers who may be interested, to come along to the station and find out more: ‘We are looking for anyone aged 17 years and over who is willing to offer some of their free time to join what I believe to be, one of the most exhilarating and rewarding voluntary services that is out there.

‘Every volunteer receives first class training from the RNLI and learns new skills which can benefit them in many walks of life. Lifeboat crew members need to have a reasonable level of fitness, have good eyesight and not be colour blind. Anyone who would like to volunteer but feels they would not meet the requirements for lifeboat crew should in no way be put off, as shore crew also play an essential role in the launch and recovery of the lifeboat when it goes on service.’

Anyone who feels they have the time and commitment to volunteer or who would like to find out is asked to get in touch with Hugh on 0863346184.

Clogherhead and Skerries RNLI assist man after 10m fishing boat breaks down

Posted on February 2, 2018 at 7:45 PM

Clogherhead and Skerries RNLI rescued a man whose boat got into difficulty north of Dublin Bay yesterday afternoon (Thursday 1 February).

Clogherhead RNLI's all-weather lifeboat. Photo: RNLI

The volunteer crews were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat from Clogherhead and their inshore lifeboat from Skerries at approximately 1pm. It followed a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the assistance of the skipper of a 10m fishing vessel which had got into difficulty four and a half miles north east of Skerries.

The vessel had lost engine power while on passage from Kilmore Quay to the Shetland Islands.

Skerries RNLI was first on the scene and after assessing that no one was in immediate danger, they worked with the skipper to take the fishing boat under tow.

With winds from the north west gusting up to 30 knots at the time and seas 3m high, a decision was made due to the weather conditions to transfer the tow line to the Clogherhead all-weather lifeboat. The boat was successfully towed into Skerries Harbour and tied up at 2pm.

Speaking following the call out, Gerry Kelly, Clogherhead RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘Today’s call out was a fine example of RNLI volunteers from neighbouring stations working well together to help bring someone to safety. We would remind anyone going to sea, regardless of their activity, to always respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket and always carry a means of calling for help and keep it within reach.’

Helvick Head RNLI rescue crew of fishing vessel in midnight call out

Posted on January 24, 2018 at 9:20 AM

The lifeboat crew’s pagers sounded at 1.50am in the early hours of Saturday morning, (20 January).

Photo: RNLI

The crew of a fishing vessel reported engine difficulty which required a tow in to Helvick Harbour.

The volunteer crew Brian O’Rourke, Joe Foley, Shane Walsh and Cathal Reilly launched the inshore lifeboat and were on board and ready for action within minutes.

The lifeboat travelled the eight miles to the vessel with ease and a tow was set up. Sea conditions were described as moderate at the time.

The vessel was towed home, docking safely at just after 5am.

Commenting on the rescue, John Condon, Helvick Head RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘It was great to see the excellent reaction to the call by all the members of the crew. Given the time at which the pagers went off it was fantastic to see the response by all – not only those who went to sea but also by the others who assisted on the shore.’

Donaghadee RNLI start the New Year with callout to jet ski pair in difficulty

Posted on January 1, 2018 at 4:35 PM

Donaghadee RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew assisted two people to safety this morning (1 January) after they got into difficulty on their jet ski and a member of the public raised the alarm.

Photo: RNLI

The volunteer crew were paged at 11.42am by Belfast Coastguard for immediate launch of the RNLI All Weather Lifeboat Saxon upon reports from a member of the public in Ballyhalbert Bay that a jet ski with two people on board appeared to be in trouble.

The lifeboat crew proceeded to the reported location, due west of Ballyhalbert Beach and approximately one mile North of Burial Island where two men were assisted onboard the lifeboat and their jet ski was taken under tow to Ballyharbert Harbour.

They were wearing appropriate clothing for the conditions and conditions at the time were Westerly 6-8 with a rough sea.

Donaghadee RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Peter Irwin said, ‘ Following the call for assistance we were able to locate the jet ski with two people onboard quickly in what was worsening conditions, thanks to the quick thinking of a member of the public alerting the Coastguard.’

‘We would remind anyone going to sea to carry a means of communication in case of emergency, and let someone know when they are due to be back. Thanks to our volunteer crew who gave up their New Years Day plans in response to the page.’

Fethard RNLI start New Year with kayak recovery launch

Posted on January 1, 2018 at 4:25 PM

Fethard RNLI launched its inshore lifeboat this afternoon (Monday January 1) to conduct a joint search with Fethard Coast Guard after a reported sighting of a kayak floating in the sea in the water off Crooke Chapel, Passage East, Waterford.

Fethard RNLI launch to recover abandoned kayak. Photo: RNLI Fethard

Fethard Lifeboat crew was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm. They quickly assembled at the station and the lifeboat immediately proceeded to Duncannon beach where they launched to carry out a search for the Kayak.

Weather conditions at the time were choppy with a strong west north west Force 6 wind.

The crew located the kayak which had run aground at Glenwater Bay halfway between Arthustown and Duncannon.

Meanwhile, Fethard Coast Guard unit were carrying out a search of the shore.

The kayak had become afloat after a kayaker had left it unattended while the tide was rising.

Speaking following the call out, Hugh Burke, Fethard RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘Prevention is always better. We were aware that there was nobody in trouble but to prevent unnecessary calls it was better to locate the abandoned kayak as early as possible. The search proved to be a great example of interagency work between ourselves and our colleagues in the Irish Coast Guard. If you lose a kayak or a board, please report it to the Coast Guard or the Gardaí.’